Just to clarify, I was away from home, at a writer's getaway. I decided to go for an early morning jog on the jogger/nature trail at the resort. It was relatively short--something like 1.2 miles, along the golf course.
I asked the person at the front desk how to get there, and she told me go here, then turn there and it's behind something or other. I don't do well with auditory directions. I don't know why I bothered to ask, because I didn't follow her directions anyway. Once I saw the golf course with a trail beside it, I figured I'd found my destination.
I kept losing the trail, and it wasn't clearly marked. It got frustrating when I ended up in a pocket with no apparent continuation, so I backtracked. My app told me I'd already run 1.5 miles--longer than the trail--and it appeared that I was only about halfway through.
Once I saw buildings, I decided I may as well head for those and get back, even though I had to go off the trail and through some underbrush. Some nature trail, I thought. I guess it's not used much.
I got to the buildings and out in the road when I realized I was not in Kansas anymore. These weren't my buildings, and this wasn't my resort. They were condos, part of the same resort--just next door to ours. I was perplexed. How did I get here?
Standing in front of what appeared to be a pricey--and, at the hour--closed--spa, I looked to my left. A "No Exit" sign boldly announced itself before an empty parking lot. To my right were condos upon condos.
I was completely disoriented, and no one was around to ask for help. I had no idea where I was or how to get back. Turning back onto the dead-end trail wasn't a viable option at this point. On top of that, I still had to shower and get to my morning class on time!
I pulled out the phone to find my location on the app (thank God I had my phone!), and that didn't really help too much. I still couldn't figure out where I was and how to get back.
Suddenly it dawned on me that I was holding my phone, which was also useful for other things, like making phone calls and looking up phone numbers. Using those detective skills, I called the front desk of the resort and explained my dilemma.
"Oh, just walk down the road till you get to Rt. 9, then turn left," she said.
"Well, I'm looking at the end of the road and it says, "No exit."
"The other way," she very kindly said.
Riiiiiight. I knew that.
"Is there a safer way than running or walking on Rt. 9?" I asked.
"You can walk down the hill until you see the basketball courts behind building (whatever it was) then cut through and you'll be back on our property."
Help was only a phone call away.
I followed those directions because I was lost and my incentive for getting "home" was great--which proved that my auditory skills are sharper than I claim them to be. Perhaps I use that as an excuse...hmmmmm....
Oh, and behind the basketball courts was a huge sign with a trail map for the jogging/nature trail, complete with markings. I'd started at the end and went the wrong way. Apparently, it sees heavier use than I'd thought.
Okay, that was a longer story than necessary, but dear reader, you know that I just love to include the details in my stories.
How often do we half listen to directions? Half listen to God? Yeah, I sort of heard you God, but I'm good. I see the path. I've got this one. This is what you said, right? Cool, let's go.
We sort of listen to God and sort of listen to our own desires.
Then we start losing the trail. We don't see the trail markings. We end up in a pocket with no way out. We backtrack. We scurry through the underbrush, trying to find our way out. We won't admit that we're lost until we become so disoriented that we think the end of the road is the beginning. It's clear to everyone else that if we just go the other way, we'll find our way back, but somehow, that thought doesn't even occur to us because we're so focused on the fact that we're lost. And we don't quite know how that happened.
Then we panic. We have so much to do, and we have deadlines. We exhaust our excuses and our own devices. Then we realize that the very thing we've been using to navigate our way out (usually our brain) can be used to call for help.
In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.
It is said that hindsight is 20/20. "If I only knew then what I know now." So true. When we've exhausted all our resources, and we finally give up and admit that we've lost our way, we listen intently to the directions that we previously blew off in our arrogance, pride, or apathy because we now have a vested interest. A greater incentive. A valid reason.
And too often, we justify our behavior with blame--
Oh, those directions weren't good.
I don't do well with auditory directions.
The path wasn't clearly marked.
It was her fault.
Instead of owning up.
The fact was, I didn't listen. I thought I already knew. But if I did, then why did I even ask? If I had to ask, that means I didn't already know.
Pride got me lost.
Humility got me home.
That's how it works with God too.
Don't wait until you're lost to call out for help. But just in case you do, always carry your phone in your pocket and His Word in your heart.
Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.
You make known to me the path of life;
at your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Blessings Along the Path,
I apolgize for the wacky fonts all over the place in this blog. I was completely unable to change font size and style. It did what it wanted. It looks horrible and I can't change it. So sorry if it was difficult to read. As a recovering perfectionist, it really irritates me.
Sharing this blog with some of these lovelies